“I'm the Boss, Salesman, Negotiator...Fixer…” – Roles Entrepreneurs Enact in Resource-Acquisition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractpeer-review


In seeking resources, entrepreneurs need networks but more than that they need the motivation and ability to enact different roles to capture network resources. We investigate the experiences of nine entrepreneurs by integrating qualitative in-depth, face-to-face interviews and quantitative social network analysis. We examine the network structures in which entrepreneurs are embedded, we identify one default role of Boss, three core roles of Ambassador, Co-creator and Mediator and five specialist roles of Expert, Orchestrator, Trader, Negotiator and Gatekeeper. Default and core roles are enacted by virtue of the entrepreneurs’ position as top executive of their ventures. We find that network characteristic are less important when enacting default and core roles while structural network characteristics influence the enactment of specialist roles as specialist roles are purposefully enacted with clear desired outcomes. Our study is one of few to integrate network structure with entrepreneurs’ role enactment in their pursuit of resources. Our empirical findings suggest that understanding how network structure and actor agency intersect may assist resource-constrained entrepreneurs to be more strategic in seeking effective access to network resource opportunities. Networks provide resource opportunities, but the acquisition of these opportunities requires entrepreneurs’ ambitions and ability to enact different roles in different situations."
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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